Archive for December 28th, 2010
Today, the Washington Examiner published an article about 15th Street merchants “protesting” the 15th Street “bike lanes.”
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- In our view, it has a few problems:
- It never uses the term “cycle track” or explains the sort of facility it discusses.
- It quotes one manager saying bikes should ride on the sidewalk, which is illegal there.
- It quotes another business owner saying she wishes the cyclists would not use her street (which is not technically incorrect, but a strange customer attraction policy).
- It clumsily brings in anger over the parking meter rate increases to let an employee of another business call bike lanes a “‘deterrent’ to customers.”
- It never asks these business interests why they did not raise these concerns with DDOT during the extensive planning of the bike facility, or with downtown commercial property owners and the Downtown DC BID, who “helped plan the lanes.”
- It lets objectors make incorrect statements and unsupported assertions without correcting or challenging them, while giving them a free pass on their failure to express these concerns during the actual design process when they could have been constructive.
- Finally, it implicitly reinforces the view that all downtown public space planning should be evaluated based on how it impacts cars, their movement, and their short-term storage.
So in sum: We disagree. Our letter to the Examiner is below.
15th Street ‘Protest’ Examiner Response
We do not yet have all the details, but Councilmember Mendelson’s staff today committed to holding a hearing on bicyclist and pedestrian safety–likely in early February. Councilmember Mendelson is Chair of the DC Council’s Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, and therefore has oversight of MPD and many traffic enforcement issues.
If you are a cyclist with a story that you believe would be relevant to such a hearing, we encourage you to begin preparing your testimony. Even if you cannot attend a hearing in person, you can still submit testimony in written form.
We get calls every week from cyclists who have been injured in a crash, but are unable to recover due to enforcement/reporting errors. I hope that those who have shared their stories with us will now take the opportunity to share the story with the Committee and Chairman Mendelson.
We will announce the hearing date, time, and place as soon as it is set.